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Rajnath Singh to IAF: Make long term plans to counter future threats

Rajnath Singh congratulated the Air Force for ensuring a "timely and befitting response to the sudden developments in Eastern Ladakh".

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: April 16, 2021 4:23:56 am
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, farmers, Ram temple, Bharatiya Janata Party, face-off with China in Ladakh, Uttar Pradesh BJP executive committee, BJP meet, india news, indian expressDefence Minister Rajnath Singh. (File)

Appreciating the role played by the Indian Air Force (IAF) during the standoff with China in eastern Ladakh last year, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Thursday urged the IAF leadership to draw plans to counter future threats.

Addressing the opening day of the two-day biannual IAF Commanders’ Conference, Singh congratulated the Air Force for ensuring a “timely and befitting response to the sudden developments in Eastern Ladakh” and advised the commanders to “draw up long term plans and strategies for capability enhancement to counter future threats”.

“He appreciated the critical focus of IAF towards reorienting for the future,” the Air Force said in a statement.

Referring to changing international geopolitics, Singh observed the perceptible shift of focus from Trans-Atlantic to Trans-Pacific has become more obvious in the recent past.

“Changing dimensions of war would now include advanced technologies, asymmetric capabilities and info-dominance, and it was very important that the IAF’s preparations for the future must include these aspects,” he said.

He assured the Air Force commanders of the “wholehearted support” from the Ministry of Defence in achieving the goal of being a “potent Strategic Aerospace Force”.

Singh asked the commanders to “take stock and implement all directions” given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his address to the Combined Commanders’ Conference of the three forces in early March. He also stressed the need to continue to work proactively towards the integration process currently underway, implementation of the joint logistics plan and enhance synergy in areas of joint planning and operations.

Singh reiterated the government’s focus on self-reliance, and added that the Air Force’s order of the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas would result in a “substantial boost to the domestic defence industry” and will be a “game changer from the indigenisation perspective”.

Encouraging the Air Force leadership to continue their efforts for achieving even greater results in the field of indigenous defence production and aircraft maintenance, Singh said that national security and economic development are complementary aspects of national policy. The Air Force’s support for the indigenous industry would result in the development of MSMEs in this field which will simultaneously serve the cause of self-reliance and socio-economic development of the country, he added.

He also appreciated the Air Force’s role in assisting other government bodies with respect to the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the conference, the IAF said the status of strengthening current combat capabilities and the action plan for making IAF a future-ready combat force would be examined, adding that the issues pertaining to systems, reforms and restructuring for ensuring more efficient processes across all domains and optimised operational training will also be discussed.

Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat was also present on the first day, along with other senior officials of the Defence Ministry.

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